Edward D. DiPrete

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Edward D. DiPrete
RI Governor Edward D. DiPrete 1985-1991.jpg
70th Governor of Rhode Island
In office
January 1, 1985 – January 1, 1991
LieutenantRichard A. Licht
Roger N. Begin
Preceded byJ. Joseph Garrahy
Succeeded byBruce Sundlun
Mayor of Cranston
In office
Preceded byJames L. Taft Jr.
Succeeded byMichael A. Traficante
Personal details
Born (1934-07-08) July 8, 1934 (age 85)
Cranston, Rhode Island, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Patricia DiPrete
ResidenceCranston, Rhode Island
Alma materCollege of the Holy Cross

Edward Daniel DiPrete (born July 8, 1934) is an American Republican Party politician and convicted felon from Rhode Island. He served as the 70th Governor of Rhode Island for three two-year terms, serving from 1985 to 1991. Convicted of numerous corruption charges, he is the only Rhode Island governor to have gone to prison.[1]

Early life[edit]

DiPrete was born in Cranston, Rhode Island. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross, and received honorary degrees from Holy Cross, Providence College, Bryant College and the University of Rhode Island. From 1970 to 1974, he served on the Cranston School Committee. From 1974 to 1978, he served as an at-large member of the Cranston City Council. He served as mayor of the city from 1978 to 1985.

Governor of Rhode Island[edit]

DiPrete served as the 70th Governor of Rhode Island from 1985 to 1991, and was defeated for reelection in a landslide by former federal attorney and millionaire businessman Bruce Sundlun in 1990, who had previously lost twice to DiPrete.

In 1994, DiPrete was indicted on criminal charges relating to the awarding of state contracts during his service as governor.[2] All charges were dismissed in March 1997 by a Rhode Island Superior Court Judge who also found the Attorney General's office guilty of 10 findings of "egregious prosecutorial misconduct."

He was subsequently charged again, and in December 1998, he pleaded guilty to state charges of bribery, extortion and racketeering, and was sentenced to a year in prison.

In a plea bargain he also admitted accepting $250,000 in exchange for state contracts during his term as governor. DiPrete agreed to this plea bargain only after assurance that pending charges against a family member would be dismissed. Those charges against his son were dismissed in their entirety prior to the Governor agreeing with the plea bargain.[3] In addition, his state retirement pension was revoked, despite attempts to have it reinstated.[4][5] DiPrete served eleven months in Adult Correctional Institutions.[6]

Subsequently, the State Supreme Court overturned the denial of DiPrete's pension benefits to his wife and remanded the case back to Superior Court for a new hearing. Because of a degenerative neurological disease, Mrs. DiPrete, notified the court through her attorney, she wished to terminate the request, and the new hearing ordered by the Supreme Court did not proceed.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

DiPrete was known for his "everyman" persona, serving supermarket fried chicken to guests in his Winnebago motor home.[6] He parked the motor home outside the Rhode Island State House during a snowstorm in February 1987 so that he would be able to come to work despite heavy snowfall.[6] DiPrete kept an arcade Pac-Man game in his home, which he demonstrated to president George H.W. Bush in 1989.[6]

DiPrete and his wife Patricia had seven children; Patricia died in 2011.[6] DiPrete remained in his Cranston home until October 2016, when he moved to an apartment the Garden City section of that city.[6]

Electoral history[edit]

Rhode Island Gubernatorial Election 1984[7]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Edward D. DiPrete 245,059 60.0%
Democratic Anthony J. Solomon 163,311 40.0%
Rhode Island Gubernatorial Election 1986[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Edward D. DiPrete (incumbent) 208,822 64.7%
Democratic Bruce Sundlun 104,504 32.4%
Cool Moose Robert J. Healey 5,964 1.8%
Citizens Party Anthony D. Affigne 3,481 1.1%
Rhode Island Gubernatorial Election 1988[9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Edward D. DiPrete (incumbent) 203,550 50.8%
Democratic Bruce Sundlun 196,925 49.2%
Rhode Island Gubernatorial Election 1990[10]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Edward D. DiPrete (incumbent) 92,177 25.8%
Democratic Bruce Sundlun 264,411 74.2%


  1. ^ Fitzpatrick, Edward. "Ed Fitzpatrick talks with R.I.'s only governor to go to prison about what he's proud of and what he regrets + video". providencejournal.com. Retrieved 2018-09-15.
  2. ^ Rhode Island Governor Edward D. DiPrete-National Governors Association
  3. ^ "DiPrete charged with bribery & racketeering". Providence Journal. Archived from the original on May 23, 2008. Retrieved August 28, 2009.
  4. ^ National Briefing | New England: Rhode Island: Court Denies Ex-Governor Pension (New York Times article)
  5. ^ "RI Retirement Board v. Edward DiPrete (2004)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 16, 2006. Retrieved August 28, 2009.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Mooney, Tom (24 April 2017). "Former R.I. Gov. Ed DiPrete puts Cranston home on the market". The Providence Journal. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  7. ^ "General Election November 2, 1984". State of Rhode Island Board of Elections. Retrieved 13 Jan 2017.
  8. ^ "General Election November 4, 1986". State of Rhode Island Board of Elections. Retrieved 13 Jan 2017.
  9. ^ "RI.gov: Election Results". State of Rhode Island Board of Elections. Retrieved 13 Jan 2017.
  10. ^ "RI.gov: Election Results". State of Rhode Island Board of Elections. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
Political offices
Preceded by
John Garrahy
Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
Bruce Sundlun